Every year, hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the world to crowd into Times Square and spend hours without food or bathrooms to listen to live music, revel in the excitement of a New Year and most importantly, to watch the traditional midnight ball drop. But most people aren’t conveniently located in New York, and even those that are might not be courageous enough to brave the crowds and cold weather to be a part of the New Year’s Eve tradition. So what to do?
If you want to feel like you’re part of the action without traveling or freezing your butt off, you could always follow all the excitement with television broadcasts from New York, as ABC, NBC, and Fox will all have their traditional celebratory programming underway. (CBS is sitting this one out, preferring to broadcast The Mentalist, the news, and The Late Show with David Letterman.) Or you could tune in online, where New Year’s Eve festivities will be streamed live for the first time.
The Times Square Alliance and event organizer Countdown Entertainment will stream all the fun to an international audience (no geoblocking) for six-and-a-half hours on New Year’s Eve. The stream, which begins at 5:50 p.m. EST and extends to 12:20 a.m., will include coverage of hourly practice countdowns, stage performances, and, of course, the midnight ball drop. A full schedule of the events can be found here.
The live video will be powered by Livestream and will be available at a number of sites, including TimesSquareNYC.org, Livestream.com/2010 and Facebook.com/TimesSquareNYC. The stream will also be available to iPhone users at iphone.livestream.com/2010/.
In order to spread the live video as widely as possible, the organizers have created embeddable video widgets, so that viewers can add the live stream to any of their sites. The stream will also have a social component, with a Facebook app and Twitter integration, as well as the ability for viewers to chat with one another while watching the event.
And for those of you that want to know what’s happening outside of New York, Livestream will also be powering video for New Year’s Nation, which will showcase New Year’s Eve parties from 10 different cities in the US. Participating cities include Austin, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, and Seattle.